"The Alehouse Sessions – curated and devised by Bjarte Eike, Norway’s leading baroque violinist – are an ever-changing and evolving insight into the music of the English 17th Century tavern. It gives audiences a window into this tumultuous period through Purcell overtures, English sea shanties, and Scandinavian folk songs thrown in for good measure.
Bjarte and early music virtuosos, Barokksolistene, return for a riotous evening in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as part of The Great Feast. They will transform our candlelit space into something close to a 17th century alehouse, with a menu of highly entertaining, touching and beautiful folk music, accompanied by anecdotes, humour and of course, beer.
These sessions have been hailed as ‘irresistible’ [The Times], ‘superb’ [The Scotsman] and ‘fabulously unrestrained’ [The Guardian], and they have diverted away from the traditional concert model by ‘creating the effect of a late night jamming session’ [BBC Music Magazine]."
The period working at Den Norske Opera & Ballett was so saturated with great experiences! It was hard work, yes, but every bit mattered. We feel so lucky to have had the chance to collaborate with so many talented artists on creating three big productions that were all very well received by critics in Norway and abroad! "Dido & Aeneas" directed and choreographed by Andreas Heise was as much opera as ballet and we contributed as a performative chamber orchestra on stage, our own Bjarte Eike also being in charge of the music at large. "Barokk bevegelse" was really four shows: "How did I get where" choreographed by Cina Espejord, "Resonance" by Garett Smith and "Bout of the Imperfect Pearl" by Melissa Hough were all world premieres. In addition we revisited "Vespertine" by Liam Scarlett. Bjarte Eike was the music director of these four ballets working closely with each choreographer. Together with Jon Balke he even developed a new patch- #MultiTonar - to create the soundscape of dementia. In addition we got to take over the second stage with our heart-child "The Alehouse Sessions". Audience interaction with cheerful "hey" and "ho" over beer is really possible even at the Opera! Thank you once again to Ingrid Lorentzen and and Annilese Miskimmon for the opportunity to constitute a big part of the programme this spring! And big thanks to everyone involved in creating Barokkfest! The AMAZING SINGERS AND DANCERS! The devoted producers, the choir, the whole production team and the communication team! Here is a little mashup of photos from all productions as well as some quotes about Bjarte Eike and Barokksolistene from the reviews in Klassekampen, Aftenposten, Das Opernglas and more. Photographers: Theresa Pewal, Jörg Wiesner and Erik Berg.
🇩🇪 «Violinist Bjarte Eike führt seine Musiker nicht nur als musikalischer Leiter durch die Partitur, sondern wirbelt als Teil einer Barockband mit historischen Instrumenten durch das Stück, mit der Frische von Quasi-Improvisation die Handlung vorantreibend, sie ergänzend, erläuternd.»
🇬🇧 «Violinist Bjarte Eike not only leads his musicians through the score as the musical director, but whirls around as part of a baroque band with historical instruments, with the freshness of quasi-improvisation propelling the action, supplementing it, explaining it.»
🇩🇪 «Übrigens hatte Purcell diese seine erste Oper für
eine Aufführung in einem Mädchenpensionat vertont. Man könnte zweifeln, ob sie wirklich
geeignet war, den adligen jungen Damen die Gefahren der Liebe warnend zu vermitteln. Auf jeden
Fall hätte die Inszenierung der Oper Oslo viel – noch mehr — Neugier bei ihnen geweckt.»
🇬🇧 «This first opera by Purcell was originally composed for a performance at a girls' boarding school. One might doubt if it was really apt to warn noble young women about the dangers of love. By all means, the staging of the Oslo Opera would have aroused even more curiosity among them.»
🇩🇪 «Die betörende musikalische Qualität aller Mitwirkenden lässt keine harmonische und melodische Raffinesse verloren gehen.
🇬🇧«The beguiling musical quality of all contributors leaves no harmonic and melodious sophistication lost.
Congratulations to director/choreographer Andreas Heise and to the singers who received equal praise!
TORINO JAZZ FESTIVAL Eccezionale l’ensemble SIWAN di JON BALKE, ponte tra Occidente ed Oriente, tra passato e futuro. Con Mona Boutchebak alla voce, Derya Türkan al kemenche, Bjarte Eike al violino e l'Ensemble d'archi del Conservatorio di Torino col violoncellista Manuel Zigante.